SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 10, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Middle East Technical University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 10, 2022, police used force against and arrested students participating in a LGBTQ+ Pride parade at the Middle East Technical University (METU).

On June 7, the METU rector had banned the 10the METU Pride Parade, which had been planned for June 10th (see report). On June 10, students went forward with the Pride parade on METU’s campus. Riot police assaulted students and used force, including pepper balls, against students. Police reportedly detained 38 students during the parade.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence against, and the arrest of students in apparent retaliation for their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly – conduct that is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a party. State authorities have a responsibility to refrain from interfering in the peaceful exercise of the right to free expression and association on campus. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom, freedom of expression, and democratic society generally.